For a Successful Team, Pay Attention to Group Norms

For a Successful Team, Pay Attention to Group Norms

Article, Uncategorized
There can be great wisdom in a team. In fact, groups are often able to make better decisions than any single individual. But there’s a caveat: only emotional intelligent teams can be this effective. Most of us, at some point, have encountered the other kind of team or group—the type that makes a person want to work alone. When a team is dysfunctional, decision-making, quality, and speed suffer. So it’s an urgent matter to figure out how to create a high performing team, and there’s no magic formula. There is, however, one important area leaders can focus on that, with effort and attention, will always improve a team: group norms. Everyone in a group contributes to its overall emotional intelligence level, but the norms strongly determine whether the team is high-performing, or simply a…
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To Strengthen Leadership, Find Time for Silence

To Strengthen Leadership, Find Time for Silence

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Who would you be if you took time for silence? Given the level of noise that surrounds us, we might never know the answer to that question unless we consciously set aside time for quiet. By “noise,” I mean not only the sounds of phones, construction, screens and traffic, but the chatter of texts, emails, websites and social media that fills our days. “Recent studies are showing that taking time for silence restores the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and conditions our minds to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work, and lead,” write Justin Talbot-Zorn and Leigh Marz in the Harvard Business Review article The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time.The authors point to research associating quiet with…
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Finding Leadership Identity, Part 2

Finding Leadership Identity, Part 2

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Last week I posted about the process of defining who we are at our core, by looking closely at the elements that make up our past and creating a timeline. Digging in and figuring out what brings us joy, (and what doesn't), helps us make decisions about our future. It gives us a clearer understanding of the culture and context in which we can feel like ourselves, do our best work (and play), and thrive.If you are choosing between two opportunities, a timeline like this, and the information you gather from it, will help point you toward one choice or another. If you are trying to dream up a future, the timeline will remind you of what situations in the past felt most "right" to you. This week continues that theme,…
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Giving Priority To Your Values

Giving Priority To Your Values

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One of the best ways to make a decision you won’t regret is to make sure that you are making it in line with your own values. What is most important to you? The list of values is long: bravery, humility, honesty, justice, love of family, freedom, strength, discipline, kindness, equality, creativity, peace, generosity, achievement, excellence--or something entirely different from these.Values also may change over time. Right now you might value achievement, for instance, but at some point this might become a less important value to you than generosity. Or these might both be very important values to you, so you feel it’s important to accomplish things with generosity. It can be very easy to be swayed by other people’s values. We are social creatures, and often required to balance what is…
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The Risks of Holding Back in Leadership

The Risks of Holding Back in Leadership

Article, Uncategorized
Most of us will hold back at one point or another when we could be leading with our full selves. We have an inkling of where we want to go and what we want to do. We know what we’d be good at, or at least we have a suspicion. Yet, in our everyday lives, we wait to show those vibrant colors inside us until someone invites us to do it. We stay in our current role, waiting for an invitation to further leadership. The most obvious way I observe this in organizations is in people who are headed for a new role, but haven’t yet been given the title. These people know where they’re going, but until they get that title, they consciously or unconsciously stop themselves from acting with…
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What Can Confusion Tell Us?

What Can Confusion Tell Us?

Article, Uncategorized
Recently I worked with a leader who said that he was confused about an important decision he needed to make. We discussed ways he could figure out an answer, but when I saw him next, he said he was still uncertain, and listed for me some of the pros and cons of making one choice or another. I thought he was getting somewhere with a decision, but in the end he postponed yet again. “I just don’t know what I want to do,” he said. He was far from the first person I’d worked with who was stuck in confusion, which can feel like being trapped in clingy mud. I also knew that, deep down, he had an answer about what he should do. I like to say that confusion is the…
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How Do You Want to Show UP?

How Do You Want to Show UP?

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I'm so proud and pleased to see my new book How Do You Want To Show Up out on the shelf at one of my favorite bookstores, surrounded by the books of writers I admire. I also feel immense joy and gratitude when I hear that people have been buying copies. I'm hopeful that the words and stories contained inside will inspire and support someone who is working on their own leadership.
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